The latest medical research on General Practice (Family Medicine)

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general practice (family medicine) gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Resilience in family caregivers of patients diagnosed with advanced cancer - unravelling the process of bouncing back from difficult experiences, a hermeneutic review.

Eur J Gen

Despite the risk for developing mental disorders, most of advanced cancer patients' family caregivers undergo a resilient process throughout the caregiving period. Research on resilience in caregivers of advanced cancer patients is scarce and further hindered by the lack of a univocal definition and a theoretical framework.

To provide clarity on the concept of resilience by proposing an integrative view that can support health care professionals and researchers in conducting and interpreting research on resilience.

The review process was inspired by the hermeneutic methodology: a cyclic review process, consisting of repeated searching and analysing until data saturation is reached and focussed on achieving a deeper understanding of ill-defined concepts. The definitions from eighteen reviews on resilience and the theoretical frameworks from eight concept analyses were analysed. The composing elements of resilience were listed and compared.

The American Psychological Association's definition of resilience and Bonanno's theoretical framework are suggested to guide further research on resilience. Moreover, four knowledge gaps were uncovered: (1) How do resilience resources interact? (2) What are the key predictors for a resilient trajectory? (3) How do the resilient trajectories evolve across the caregiving period? And (4) how does the patient's nearing death influence the caregiver's resilience?

To address flaws in conceptualisation and the resulting gaps in knowledge, we suggest a definition and a theoretical framework that are suited to allow heterogeneity in the field, but enables the development of sound interventions, as well as facilitate the interpretation of intervention effectiveness.

Patient loneliness in an urban, underserved family medicine residency clinic: prevalence and relationship to health care utilization.

Family Practice

Mounting evidence suggests that loneliness increases the risk of poor health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and premature mortality.Objective: This study examined the prevalence of loneliness in an urban, underserved family medicine residency clinic and the association of loneliness with health care utilization.

Adult patients (N = 330; M age = 42.1 years, SD = 14.9; 63% female; 58% African American) completed the 3-item UCLA Loneliness screener at their primary care visits between November 2018 and January 2019. A retrospective case-control study design was used to compare health care utilization [hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) visits, primary care visits, no-shows and referrals] in the prior 2 years between patients who identified as lonely versus those who did not. Covariates included demographics and clinical characteristics.

Nearly half (44%) of patients exceeded the cut-off for loneliness. Patients who were lonely were more likely to identify as African American, have depression and have a substance use disorder. Patients in the lonely group had significantly longer hospital stays and more primary care visits, no-shows and referrals than patients in the non-lonely group; there were no differences in number of hospitalizations or ED visits.

The prevalence of loneliness in an urban, underserved primary care clinic was much higher than prior prevalence estimates in primary care. Patients who are lonely may use more health care resources than patients who are not lonely. Primary care may be an ideal setting in which to identify patients who are lonely to further understand the impact of loneliness on health care outcomes.

Predictors of children's health system use: cross-sectional study of linked data.

Family Practice

Use of health services is increasing in many countries. Most health service research exploring determinants of use has focused on adults and on secondary care. Less is known about factors associated with the use of the emergency department (ED) and general practice (GP) among young children.

To explore factors associated with GP consultations and ED attendances among children under 5 in a single UK city.

Cross-sectional exploratory study using anonymized individual-level health service use data for children aged 0-4 from 21 GPs in Southampton, UK, linked to ED data, over a 1-year period. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to explore the association of socio-demographic factors [using the 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to define socio-economic status] with high service use (defined as more than eight GP consultations and/or two ED attendances respectively).

Among 11 062 children, there were 76 092 GP consultations and 6107 ED attendances. Three thousand two hundred thirty-three (29%) children were high users of GP and 564 (5%) of ED services. Greater socio-economic deprivation was independently associated with high use of GP and ED services separately [odds ratios (OR) for most versus least deprived IMD quintile 1.45 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.20-1.75) and 2.21 (95% CI 1.41-3.46), respectively], and together [OR 2.62 (95% CI 1.48-4.65)].

Young children are frequent users of health services, particularly GP. Socio-economic deprivation is an important factor. Parents, carers and health services may benefit from interventions that support families in their management of children's health.

Far from acceptable: youth-reported risk behaviour screening by primary care physicians.

Family Practice

Adolescence and early adulthood are periods of experimentation during which health detrimental behaviours might be acquired.

This study's purpose is to evaluate physicians' likelihood of addressing health risk behaviours with youths depending on the youths' wishes, risk behaviours and personal characteristics.

Data were drawn from the third wave (2017-18) of the GenerationFRee longitudinal study carried out on a sample of 1970 youths aged 17-26 in Switzerland. Analysed risk behaviours were: eating disorders, substance use, emotional wellbeing, problematic Internet use and gambling. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed, results are presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs).

Physicians discussed most risk behaviours with less than half of the youths. The odds of addressing risk behaviours were seldom raised when the risk behaviour was present, or when the youth wished to discuss it. Emotional wellbeing was addressed with half as many males as females (aOR 0.47), and drugs were found to be addressed more frequently with youths reporting a low family socio-economic status (aOR 6.18). When a risk behaviour is addressed it is mostly alongside an extended screening.

This study confirmed the low levels of health risk behaviours screening, regardless of the youths' wish to discuss the topic with their physician. Despite the low levels, physicians do tend to screen systematically, especially when discussing substance use. There is a need to improve physicians training in risk behaviour screening and counselling in order to increase this practice.

Hyperendemic rheumatic heart disease in a remote Australian town identified by echocardiographic screening.

Medical Journal of Australia

Using echocardiographic screening, to estimate the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in a remote Northern Territory town.

Definite or borderline RHD, based on World Heart Federation criteria; history of acute rheumatic fever (ARF), based on Australian guidelines for diagnosing ARF.

People aged 5-20 years living in Maningrida, West Arnhem Land (population, 2610, including 2366 Indigenous Australians), March 2018 and November 2018.

The screening participation rate was 72%. The median age of the 613 participants was 11 years (interquartile range, 8-14 years); 298 (49%) were girls or women, and 592 (97%) were Aboriginal Australians. Definite RHD was detected in 32 screened participants (5.2%), including 20 not previously diagnosed with RHD; in five new cases, RHD was classified as severe, and three of the participants involved required cardiac surgery. Borderline RHD was diagnosed in 17 participants (2.8%). According to NT RHD register data at the end of the study period, 88 of 849 people in Maningrida and the surrounding homelands aged 5-20 years (10%) were receiving secondary prophylaxis following diagnoses of definite RHD or definite or probable ARF.

Passive case finding for ARF and RHD is inadequate in some remote Australian communities with a very high burden of RHD, placing children and young people with undetected RHD at great risk of poor health outcomes. Active case finding by regular echocardiographic screening is required in such areas.

Effects of a work stress intervention on healthcare use and treatment compared to treatment as usual: a randomised controlled trial in Swedish primary healthcare.

BMC Family Practice Identifier: NCT02480855 . Registered 20 May 2015.

A two-armed randomised controlled trial was conducted at seven primary healthcare centres (PHCCs) in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. One group received the WSQ intervention, and the controls received TAU. Employed, not sick-listed persons aged 18-64 years who sought care for mental or physical health complaints at the PHCCs participated. Register data on healthcare visits and treatments 12 months prior to inclusion and 12 months after were obtained and analysed with Fisher's exact test together with questionnaire data (WSQ and background features).

A total of 271 participants were included in the study, 132 intervention and 139 controls. Visits to psychologists/psychotherapists were higher among intervention participants with high stress (20%, n = 87) during follow-up compared to corresponding controls (7%, n = 97) (p < 0.05). Collaborative care measures were more common among the stressed intervention participants (23%) post-inclusion compared to the stressed controls (11%) (p < 0.05). The amount of received cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was higher among the stressed intervention group (16%) than among controls (10%) during follow-up.

The intervention group that used the WSQ with physicians' feedback had an increased number of rehabilitative measures and treatment more in line with established guidelines compared to treatment as usual. Findings of the study indicate that the WSQ can assist in identifying work stress in primary healthcare and contribute to physicians' recommendations of suitable rehabilitative measures at an earlier stage compared to treatment as usual.

Management of work-related common mental disorders in general practice: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Family Practice

General practitioners (GPs) often manage individuals with work-related common mental disorders (CMD: depressive disorders, anxiety and alcohol abuse). However, little is known about the ways in which they proceed. The aim of this study is to analyze GPs' management and patterns of referral to other health professionals of patients with work-related CMD and associated factors.

We used data from a cross-sectional study of 2027 working patients of 121 GPs in the Nord - Pas-de-Calais region in France (April - August 2014). Statistical analyses focused on patients with work-related CMD detected by the GP and examined the ways in which GPs managed these patients' symptoms. Associations between patient, work, GP and contextual characteristics and GPs' management were explored using modified Poisson regression models with robust variance.

Among the 533 patients with work-related CMD in the study, GPs provided psychosocial support to 88.0%, prescribed psychotropic treatment to 82.4% and put 50.7% on sick leave. Referral rates to mental health specialists and occupational physicians were respectively 39.8 and 26.1%. Several factors including patients' characteristics (occupational and sociodemographic), GPs' characteristics and environmental data were associated with the type of management used by the GP.

Our study emphasizes the major and often lonesome role of the GP in the management of patients with work-related CMDs. Better knowledge of the way GPs manage those patients could help GPs in their practice, improve patients care and be a starting point to implement a more collaborative care approach.

HealthPathways: a detailed analysis of utilisation trends in the northern Sydney region.

Australian Journal of Primary Health

This study developed a model for using Google Analytics (GA) data to evaluate utilisation trends of the Sydney North HealthPathways portal. HealthP...

Patient-reported and doctor-reported symptoms when faecal immunochemical tests are requested in primary care in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease: a prospective study.

BMC Family Practice

Rectal bleeding and a change in bowel habits are considered to be alarm symptoms for colorectal cancer and they are also common symptoms for inflammatory bowel disease. However, most patients with these symptoms do not have any of these diseases. Faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for haemoglobin are used as triage tests in Sweden and other countries but little is known about the symptoms patients have when FITs are requested.

Firstly, to determine patients' symptoms when FITs are used as triage tests in primary care and whether doctors record the symptoms that patients report, and secondly to evaluate the association between symptoms, FIT results and possible prediction of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

This prospective study included 364 consecutive patients for whom primary care doctors requested a FIT. Questionnaires including gastrointestinal symptoms were completed by patients and doctors.

Concordance between symptoms reported from patients and doctors was low. Rectal bleeding was recorded by 43.5% of patients versus 25.6% of doctors, FITs were negative in 58.3 and 52.7% of these cases respectively. The positive predictive value (PPV) of rectal bleeding recorded by patients for colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease was 9.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.2-14.7); for rectal bleeding combined with a FIT the PPV was 22.6% (95% CI 12.2-33.0) and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 98.9% (95% CI 96.7-100). For patient-recorded change in bowel habits the PPV was 6.1% (95% CI 2.4-9.8); for change in bowel habits combined with a FIT the PPV was 18.2% (95% CI 9.1-30.9) and the NPV 100% (95% CI 90.3-100).

Doctors should be aware that, during consultations, they do not record all symptoms experienced by patients. FITs requested in primary care, when found positive, may potentially be of help in prioritising referrals, also when patients present with rectal bleeding or change in bowel habits.

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire is a usable way to address mental health at well-child visits in general practice - a qualitative study of feasibility.

BMC Family Practice

Not relevant.

A qualitative study of feasibility. Parents completed an online version of the SDQ at home. At the well-child visit, the GP used the SDQ results as a basis for a talk about the child's mental health. Afterwards the author JS conducted semistructured interviews with both the parent and the GP over the phone. The interviews were descriptively analyzed using the Framework Approach.

Five primary care centres with 22 general practitioners in both Copenhagen and Region Zealand participated. Twenty four parents completed the SDQ and were interviewed. Participating parents and GPs agreed, that the SDQ introduced mental health as a natural and important part of the well-child visit. Online access had clear advantages: time for reflection at home and preparation, plus a clear result summary for the GP. Some of the GPs were worried that the questionnaire would be too time consuming, and might compromise the individualistic style of general practice. Some parents were worried if children with minor problems would be diagnosed.

The online SDQ was well-accepted and feasible in daily practice. Implementing the SDQ into the well-child visit could strengthen the focus on the child's mental health. However, before the SDQ can be generally implemented a guideline on how to utilize it in the well-child visit is needed, as well as studies of efficacy in this setting.

Interrelationships between symptom burden and health functioning and health care utilization among veterans with persistent physical symptoms.

BMC Family Practice

Between 10 and 50% of primary care patients present with persistent physical symptoms (PPS). Patients with PPS tend to utilize excessive or inappropriate health care services, while being stuck in a deleterious cycle of inactivity, deconditioning, and further worsening of symptoms and disability. Since military deployment (relative to non-deployment) is associated with greater likelihood of PPS, we examined the interrelationships of health care utilization, symptom burden and functioning among a sample of recently deployed Veterans with new onset persistent physical symptoms.

This study analyzed a cohort of 790 U.S. soldiers who recently returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Data for this analysis were obtained at pre- and post-deployment. We used moderation analyses to evaluate interactions between physical symptom burden and physical and mental health functioning and four types of health care utilization one-year after deployment, after adjusting for key baseline measures.

Moderation analyses revealed significant triple interactions between physical symptom burden and health functioning and: primary care (F = 3.63 [2, 303], R2Δ = .02, p = 0.03), specialty care (F = 6.81 [2, 303] R2Δ =0.03, p < .001), allied therapy care (F = 3.76 [2, 302], R2Δ = .02, p = 0.02), but not mental health care (F = 1.82 [1, 303], R2Δ = .01, p = .16), one-year after deployment.

Among U.S. Veterans with newly emerging persistent physical symptoms one-year after deployment, increased physical symptom burden coupled with decreased physical and increased mental health functioning was associated with increased medical care use in the year after deployment. These findings support whole health initiatives aimed at improving health function/well-being, rather than merely symptom alleviation.

Treatment of urinary tract infections in Swiss primary care: quality and determinants of antibiotic prescribing.

BMC Family Practice

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics in primary care. Current guidelines recommend fosfomycin, nitrofurantoin, or trimethoprim - sulfamethoxazol as empiric first line antimicrobial agents in uncomplicated infections. However, there is evidence that the use of fluoroquinolones, which are no longer recommended, is still inappropriate high. We determined antibiotic prescription patterns, quality and factors affecting antibiotic prescriptions in urinary tract infections in primary care in Switzerland.

From June 2017 to August 2018, we conducted a cross-sectional study in patients suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI). Patient and general practitioners characteristics as well as antibiotic prescribing patterns were analysed.

Antibiotic prescribing patterns in 1.352 consecutively recruited patients, treated in 163 practices could be analysed. In 950 (84.7%) patients with an uncomplicated UTI the prescriptions were according to current guidelines and therefore rated as appropriate. Fluoroquinolones were prescribed in 13.8% and therefore rated as inappropriate. In multivariable analysis, the age of the general practitioner was associated with increasing odds of prescribing a not guideline recommended antibiotic therapy.

We found a high degree of guideline conform antibiotic prescriptions in patients with an uncomplicated urinary tract infection in primary care in Switzerland. However, there is still a substantial use of fluoroquinolones in empiric therapy.